Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Wednesday renewed threats to launch a cross-border assault on opposition groups based in the Kurdistan Region, calling on the government to drive them out.

“We will definitely deal with these groups. We advise people to stay away from counter-revolutionary headquarters. They [the Kurdistan Regional Government] should try to drive these groups away from the region before the powerful hand of the Islamic Republic comes out of their sleeves,” Brigadier General Mohammad Taghi Osanloo, commander of the IRGC’s Hamzeh Seyyed al-Shuhada told reporters, as quoted by Iran’s Mehr News Agency.

“The Iraqi Kurdistan Region should not cultivate the gangs on its own. We told the officials of this region that these gangs should be expelled,” added the commander.

This is the second threat by Iran this week. Mohammed Pakpour, the commander of IRGC’s ground forces, Mohammed Pakpour, also said they have warned Iraqi and Kurdish officials that they could launch cross-border assaults on opposition groups based in the Kurdistan Region, calling on residents to stay away from opposition group bases.

Several Iranian Kurdish armed opposition groups have bases in the Kurdistan Region’s mountains. They frequently clash with Iranian security forces in the Kurdish areas of western Iran. Iranian forces also periodically shell border areas with the Kurdistan Region.

Spokesperson for the Joint Operations Command, Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji on Monday responded to Pakpour’s comments and said the country will not allow anyone to threaten its security and safety.

In a joint statement, issued by the Cooperation Center of Iranian Kurdistan political parties, the Kurdish parties condemned Iran’s threats and said they will hold Tehran responsible for any harm done to civilian populations and property, and the environment. The people living in the areas Iran has threatened, the parties said, are women and children.

They also claimed Iran’s goal is to destabilize the Kurdistan Region in general, part of what they said is a campaign against the Kurdish people. “The regime’s problem is with the stability and development of the Kurdistan Region,” they stated.

In late August, the IRGC clashed with an armed opposition group in Kurdistan province, claiming to kill a number of fighters who had crossed the border from the Kurdistan Region. Around the same time, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) said an official from Iran’s Basij paramilitary force was killed by an armed group, the Zagros Eagles.

Iran has struck the party’s Kurdistan Region bases with force in the past. In 2018, after several lethal clashes between Iranian forces and Kurdish groups, Iran fired ballistic missiles at the headquarters of two Kurdish opposition groups in the town of Koya, more than 100 km deep into the Kurdistan Region.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which has cordial relations with Tehran, has called on armed Iranian Kurdish opposition groups not to launch attacks against neighboring countries and Iranian security forces from Kurdistan Region territory.

A senior Iranian security official, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, in August called on Iraq to “take more serious action to expel these groups from Iraqi Kurdistan so that Iran does not have to take preventative measures,” Reuters reported.

Source » rudaw